Some days it can be challenging enough to like our teenagers let alone cherish them.
Sure, we love them like crazy, but liking them all the time, well…on the days they’re yelling, ignoring us or refusing to do anything we ask, it can be tough.
But someday, they’ll be gone.
Our time is now. Let’s seize these moments and make wonderful memories. Let’s agree to let the small stuff go and focus on what really matters – letting them know how precious they are and how grateful we are that they are our kids.
You would be surprised at how many kids don’t really believe their parents love them during “the showdowns.”
How about making a conscious effort to show them you love them always no matter what.
Spend time with them.
Commit to one on one time with no agenda. Sit and watch them play a video game (no matter how much it kills you). Let them pick a movie and go out for a bite. Or just sit. No judgement, no lectures, they might actually just start to talk.
Tell them how you feel.
Our kids need to hear how much they matter to us, when you see them, stop what you’re doing, let them know: “I’m happy to see you. I care about you. I was thinking about you today. I love and miss you.” Catch them doing something right and tell them how much you appreciate it. Find specific ways to affirm them.
Listen more than anything else you do.
Look them in the eye. Put down the phone. Close the computer. Listen without interrupting. A perfect response, believe it or not, is a grunt, a “Hmm”, “Really?”, and a “Tell me more.”
Allow them to give you a fresh perspective.
When we don’t judge or lecture our kids notice, they get excited and feel the freedom to share their thoughts with us. Resist the urge to comment, or interject your own stories. Instead be curious to learn more about who they are. Ask open-ended questions – “Tell me more” and “What do you think?” or even the interjected “Wow!” or “That sounds so cool!”
Let them know you notice when they do good.
When I catch myself focusing on the negative in one of my kids, I switch my focus to ALL their amazing qualities. I tell them what appreciate about them. I make sure they recognize my love and gratitude.
Believe in their infinite potential.
Our kids need us to believe in them, each of our kids are loaded with tremendous potential.
Sometimes their potential may be hiding out somewhere like a buried treasure. Sometimes it’s hiding because they are afraid we will judge them for not making the choices we expect of them. The more you let them know you believe in their capabilities, worth and value, the more they will shine.
Be their biggest fan.
Show up. Find positive ways to connect. Celebrate them. Encourage and cheer them on, “I believe in you. You can do it!” Have fun. Laugh and play. Find activities that they love and join them.
Go through picture albums and watch old videos, tell stories and reflect with pride on how precious they are.
Show them random acts of kindness.
Text them and tell them one reason you’re grateful for them. Post a note with a positive affirmation in their room or lunch, here are some great affirmations to share. Send them a positive text before they have a test, performance or game. Let them know you believe in them. Cook their favorite meal. Surprise them with their favorite candy bar. Give them a hug or back rub. Find what speaks love to them.
Seize the moment to share how much you love them and believe in them. Let them carry that with them to insure that when they need you most they will come to you knowing there will be no judgement, only love.